Deirdre Clune’s ‘cheap shot’ on tourism providers prices

A call by Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune not to hike prices ahead of this year’s tourist season was yesterday described as a “cheap shot’’ by a prominent figure in the industry.

Deirdre Clune’s ‘cheap shot’ on tourism providers prices

Ms Clune said her concern was the economic recovery could see hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and other tourism providers become complacent and increase prices.

However, Michael Rosney, of the Irish Hotels’ Federation (IHF), said the Fine Gael MEP would be better advised to urge her colleagues in government to control the cost of doing business in Ireland, including domestic and commercial rates.

A Government decision to reduce Vat on tourism from 13.5% to 9% had been a phenomenal success, had helped create 30,000 jobs and more innovative schemes would help the industry, he added.

“Ms Clune’s statement is a bit of a cheap shot.

“Tourism has been through very tough times and everyone realises we’re very much in recovery mode and still at a very fragile stage in that recovery,’’ said Mr Rosney, spokesman for the Kerry IHF branch.

He also said if she had any concrete evidence of people in the industry misbehaving, or abusing the system, she should produce it.

“I know that in my own small hotel in Killarney, I’m charging less now for B&B than in 2007 and I know many other hoteliers have not increased their B&B prices,” he said.

Ms Clune, a member of the EU Tourism Taskforce, cited Government plans to create 40,000 jobs this year, using tourism.

“This plan would be in serious jeopardy if Ireland were to return to high prices for food and accommodation. The Government has played its part by reducing the tourism Vat rate to 9%. It is now up to tourism providers to continue to provide value for money in the market,’’ she said.

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